L.A.’s Oldest Synagogue Serves Local Community During Jewish New Year

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In the Spirit of Renewal and Change Pico Union Project Opens Doors to Neighbors

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Located in Los Angels' oldest synagogue buliding, The Sanctuary at Pico Union Project will model its guiding principle to “love your neighbor as you want to be loved” as it opens it historic doors for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

In addition to the traditional High Holy day rituals of song, prayer, honey and shofar, services will include a variety of opportunities for attendees to provide service to the community. “Following a festive lunch, we will invite neighbors of the Pico Union to pick up free produce at our bimonthly Vida Sana/Health and Wellness program,” explained Zach Lasker, PUP executive director. “We will also kick off a Great Start School Supply Drive benefitting students and teachers at three local schools.”

Services will be led for the 3rd year by Craig Taubman, Rabbis Deborah Schuldenfrei and Scott Westle, and a team of music and visual artists. “I love the diversity and openness of our community,” said board chair Ellen Silverman. “To be able to hear a 109 year old pipe organ at a service that also includes Torah, spoken word, a tribute to the Muslim new year, by PUP board member Edina Lekovik and the HB Barnum Gospel choir is a reflection of our multi faith and cultural roots.”

The holidays will also welcome special guest speakers, including television luminary and PUP friend Norman Lear, who will speak about reclaiming wonder in today’s society. “We’ve been given a gift. Judaism is a proven commodity with a long standing track record,” said Craig Taubman, the PUP’s founder. “Our focus is on the heart and soul of the holy days and our desire is for services to be less about ‘serve-us’ and more about committing to service.”

High Holy Days information is available at:

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ABOUT PICO UNION PROJECT Housed in the oldest synagogue building in Los Angeles, The Pico Union Project is a multi-faith cultural arts center dedicated to the Jewish principle to “love your neighbor as yourself.” We honor this teaching by bringing diverse cultures together through song, story, art, food, prayer and community service. http://www.picounionproject.org

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Zach Lasker
Craig Taubman
since: 03/2011
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